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Depending on your family’s financial situation, federal aid may cover some or all of your student’s tuition, housing, books, supplies and other college expenses. While some types of aid, like student loans, need to be repaid with interest, grants and work-study earnings do not need to be repaid.


Qualifying for Federal Student Aid

Federal aid programs include grants, work-study jobs and federal loans for students and parents. To qualify, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) as early as October 1. Eligibility is also based on your family’s:

  • Ability to pay
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Eligibility for need-based aid

For more information on Federal Student Aid eligibility requirements, visit the US Department of Education website at studentaid.ed.gov

Types of Federal Aid

Program Eligibility Award Amount
Pell Grant
  •  Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and who have not earned a bachelors or graduate degree
  • Up to $5,815 for 2017-2018
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  •  Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and have not earned a bachelors or graduate degree
  • Students who receive Pell Grants are prioritized
  • Between $100 and $4,000, depending on availability from participating schools
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Undergraduate, post baccalaureate or graduate students attending a participating school
  • Meets certain academic achievements
  • Receive TEACH Grant Counseling and sign the agreement to serve
  • Up to $4,000 a year, but federal budget cuts affect award amounts
Federal Work Study
  • Undergraduate or graduate students attending participating schools
  • Typically the amount a student can earn will not exceed their Federal Work-Study award (1,000 per semester on average)
Federal Perkins Loans
  • Undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need
  • Undergraduate: Up to $5,500 for 2017-18
  • Graduate: Up to $8,000 for 2017-18
  • Subject to school’s availability of funds
Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate financial need
  • $3,500-$5,500 depending on grade level
  • Subject to a lifetime limit
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time
  • $5,500–$20,500 (less any subsidized amounts received for same period), depending on grade level and dependency status
  • Subject to a lifetime limit
Direct PLUS Loans
  • Parents of dependent undergraduate students; graduate or professional students
  • Up to 100% of cost of attendance, minus other financial aid

FAFSA is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Education.

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